|(Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)|
Kuechly, a junior from Cincinnati, was named on 30 of 45 ballots. NC State cornerback David Amerson, the nation's leader in interceptions with 11, placed second with 14 and Duke safety Matt Daniels had the other vote.
Kuechly averaged 15.92 tackles per game for Boston College, which won three of its final five games to finish at 4-8. The figure is almost certain to set an NCAA single-season record. In order to catch Kuechly, his nearest competitor, Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner, will need to make 73 stops over his final two contests. Kuechly's total of 191 tackles fell two short of the NCAA mark, and his career achievements are equally compelling. In only three seasons, he has been credited with 532 stops; that's the second-highest total by an FBS player since the NCAA began compiling individual tackling statistics in 2000.
He has done that in only three seasons and has another year of eligibility remaining.
Another pending record is career tackles per game, which the NCAA does not certify until a player's college career ends. Kuechly is averaging 14 stops a contest over his three seasons; that's 13 percent better than the NCAA record of 12.2, set by Maryland's E.J. Henderson from 2000-02. In order to eclipse Major League Baseball's career home run record by 13 percent, a batter would need 861 round-trippers -- nearly 100 more than the current mark.